In Spirit Rangers, Elders Playing Elders
The pioneering Native actors Wes Studi and Tantoo Cardinal star as the Sun and Moon in this animated Netflix show about an Indigenous family.
Two Native American acting legends, Wes Studi and Tantoo Cardinal, have shared a dozen film sets since 1990, beginning with Dances with Wolves, but never the same scene. It took Spirit Rangers, a childrens Netflix show overflowing with Indigenous talent, to pair the two onscreen at the same time, albeit in animated form.
The preschool series, which premiered on Indigenous Peoples Day, Oct. 10, features Studi as the Sun and Cardinal as the Moon. (They appear together in an episode about an eclipse.)
Spirit Rangers has an all-Native American writers room, led by the first-time showrunner Karissa Valencia, who is half-Chumash and half-Mexican, and is executive produced by Chris Nee, the creator of Doc McStuffins.
Each episode opens in a fictional California national park, where the Skycedar family live with their three children, Kodi, Summer and Eddie, voiced by the newcomers Wacinyeya Iwasaka Yracheta, Isis Celilo Rogers and Talon Proc Alford, respectively.
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